Walkers first past the post in race to sign up

The Oxfam Trailtrekker is a challenging but incredibly rewarding charity walk through the Yorkshire Dales that gives those taking part an unbeatable sense of fulfilment – and now you can sign up to the 2011 event.

Martin Ward is a member of the team which was the first to register for next year's staging and he has encouraged anyone with an interest in rambling or raising money to do the same.

Liverpudlian Mr Ward, 43, lined up for the inaugural 100km Trailtrekker in 2009 with three of his work colleagues and said: "It was a fantastic weekend, we had an absolute blast."

The foursome, all from storage firm IBL Cold Stores, which has an office in Hull, were forced to end their hike early, at a checkpoint 64 kilometres into the route – just under 40 miles – after guidance from medical teams.

But so eager were they to come back and finish the whole thing that they put their names down for the 2011 version as soon as possible. "We'd got so far then had to give up," Mr Ward said. "We were doing OK but then took time to check our blisters and were advised to stop. We decided that discretion was the better part of valour."

Mr Ward's team of work colleagues Ian Desmonde, Tommy Meddlicott and Steve Price, had an instant desire to return and complete the trek, which starts and ends in Skipton and passes through Pen-y-Ghent and Deepdale.

They entered last June's walk but had to withdraw before reaching the starting line after one of the men hurt his ankle – "we couldn't do it without him" – and signed up for this summer's hike as soon as they received an email from Oxfam.

Trailtrekker is a walk for teams of four who need to raise at least 1500 together. At last year's event 537 brave souls walked for around 28 hours to raise a staggering 237,000.

"Fabulous" support volunteers and camaraderie between teams were personal highlights of Mr Ward's 2009 attempt, while the best bit of the walk itself was reaching the top of Pen-y-Ghent

This year, event organisers have added two new finishing lines for those who feel 100km is too daunting. People who stop after 40km are given a bronze award, while those who finish at 64km receive silver.

For more information or to enter a team go to www.oxfam.org.uk/trailtrekker. To donate to Mr Ward's team visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/IBLColdstores

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